The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) honored nine first responders at its Quarterly Pillar Breakfast held at The Alexander All- Suites Oceanfront Resort on Friday, February 20. Michael S. Goldberg, Chairman of the Chamber and SVP of Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust, opened the program, and Madeleine Romanello, Chairman of the Pillar Board and Broker/Associate at ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, was the master of ceremonies for the event.
“Today’s breakfast continues the Miami Beach Chamber’s tradition in recognizing the accomplishments of outstanding individuals doing brave work in our community,” said Goldberg at the event. “These are brave men and women, in the front line, protecting our families.
“ The Chamber recognized three City of Miami Beach Police Department Officers and one Detective as well as a Communications Operator, two Fire Department Captains and two Ocean Rescue lifeguards. The City of Miami Beach Emergency Management Head Chuck Tear, Police Chief Dan Oates and Fire/Ocean Rescue Chief Virgil Fernandez presented the awards to the first responders of their respective units.
The individuals honored were:
• Police Officer Ysidro LLamoca
• Police Officer Earl Hackworth
• Police Officer Christina O’Neal
• Police Detective Wayne Holbrook
• Communications Operator Raul Jorge
• Fire Captain Adonis Garcia
• Fire Captain Michael Yoder
• Ocean Rescue Lifeguard Carlos Escuerdo
• Ocean Rescue Lifeguard Ozzie Garcia
Addressing over 100 attendees, Mayor Philip Levine spoke about the importance of each of three first responding units and how they are integral to keeping Miami Beach safe. He awarded the nine first responders with official, limited edition, Centennial coins. City Manager Jimmy Morales also addressed the guests and spoke about the City’s heroic first responders. Also, the Miami Beach Police Color Guard presented the American flag followed by a special invocation/benediction by Police Chaplain Reverend Gary Johnson, which opened and closed the program.
At the event, Romanello said, “On behalf of the Pillar Board, we would like to thank these brave men and women that risk their lives to make our streets safe. One of the board’s commitment is to improving the City of Miami Beach by supporting the Chamber’s Education Foundation. We have awarded 18 Miami Beach teachers with grants to fund projects they couldn’t have done otherwise. Of course, we couldn’t have safe schools, homes and beaches without supporting our Police Department, Ocean Rescue and Fire Department.”
Each honoree was sponsored by a leading business or organization in the community. The organizations that sponsored a first responder were: Rennert International, the Boucher Brothers, Tropical Chevrolet, Collins Park Neighborhood Association; Normandy Shores Home Owners Association; North Beach Development Corporation; Coalition Against Causeway Chaos; Resorts World Bimini and Mango’s Tropical Café
The first responders also received gifts from the following businesses:
• Rennert International awarded each honoree two 5 week language courses
• Tropical Chevrolet is gifted each honoree with a weekend rental in one of their vehicles
• Boucher Brothers gave each hero a VIP beach experience
• Resorts World Bimini gave each honoree a weekend cruise for two
• Oxford Counseling Center gifted each honoree with a tele-counseling session
• Barre Motion awarded each hero with a month of free unlimited classes at the fitness studio
• Mango’s Tropical Café will host each honoree and give them an ultimate party experience
• Sobe Dentist gave each hero a complimentary cleaning and consultation
• Security alliance awarded each honoree with a dinner for two at Benihana
• Anthony’s Coal Fire Pizza gave each hero a $50 gift certificate
• The City of Miami Beach awarded them all with Centennial goodies
• Jungle Island gifted the honorees entry passes